Back at the Barnyard

Tamer than the movie, but still only so-so.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The animals are usually willing to follow Otis' whims without question. One female character who verbally disagrees with his opinions (often, sensibly so) is portrayed as smart-mouthed and rude. Potty humor is popular, as when the animals use a pig's flatulence to fly a hot air balloon. Otis often uses schemes and tricks to persuade his friends to follow his lead.

Violence & scariness

Typical cartoon violence (knocks to the head, collisions between characters), but it doesn't result in injury. The animals also walk away unscathed from occasional peril (like a hot air balloon plummeting to the ground).

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the mischief in this animated series -- which is based on the raucous movie Barnyard -- is slightly tamer than in the big-screen version, which included drinking, joyriding, getting chased by cops, and more. But ringleader Otis (a male cow who, inexplicably, has udders) still plots, schemes, and tricks his comrades into following his selfish, often-devious plans. Those plans sometimes lead to peril (a plummeting hot air balloon) or cartoonish violence (knocks to the head, etc.), but no one is ever injured.

What's the story?

The animated spin-off BACK AT THE BARNYARD picks up a few years after the movie left off. Time has done little to raise the Farmer's (voiced by Fred Tatasciore) awareness of his herd's ability to walk, talk, and throw parties undetected under his nose. Mischievous cow Otis (voiced by Chris Hardwick) leads his gang into hair-brained schemes that bring them ever closer to human discovery. Whether it's plotting to get the Farmer out of the way for a barnyard party or persuading the other animals to open a restaurant and disguise themselves as people, Otis' wacky plans always ensure plenty of mayhem and madness down on the farm. The barnyard gang includes wise-cracking mouse Pip (Jeff Garcia), sassy cow Bessy (Wanda Sykes), food addict Pig (Tino Insana), and newcomer cow Abby (Leigh-Allyn Baker), whose natural athletic ability drives Otis crazy.

Is it any good?


While Back at the Barnyard is, on the whole, tamer than its big-screen predecessor (there's no insinuation of drinking or gambling in this version), it's still sends some iffy messages to kids. Otis often coerces his peers into following his lead or schemes with them to pull one over on the Farmer. And no matter how extreme the trouble they get into, they always manage to work their way out of it -- and back into one another's good graces -- within each episode's 30-minute window. Perhaps most eyebrow-raising of all are the misconceptions kids might develop about barnyard animals -- not so much because they talk and walk upright, but because, once again, Otis the male cow sports a protruding set of udders. A biology lesson this is not, so be sure to correct the (hopeful) oversight for your kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about being responsible. Kids: Do you think Otis and his friends act responsibly? Why or why not? What makes them do what they do? How does it affect the animals and people around them? Have you ever been talked into doing something you didn't want to do by a friend (or done the talking-into yourself)? What happened? Do you think cartoons like this one encourage questionable behavior in kids? Why or why not? How do you which behavior you see in the media is OK to copy and which isn't?

TV details

Cast:Chris Hardwick, Leigh-Allyn Baker, Wanda Sykes
Networks:Nickelodeon, Nicktoons
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Horses and farm animals
TV rating:TV-Y7
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byKforKitty101 May 27, 2010
age 2+


This show is so STUPID. It ruined Nickelodeon and has nonstop toilet humor, and its scary! I do not recommend it or the movie.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent of a 2 year old Written byNK17 February 27, 2013
age 9+

not as intense as the movie

this show is the only show on nick other than Avatar i can stand, i despise... it is a really good comedy, the movie was better, but i really like this show, some episodes are a bit dull but it is very fun and is suitable for 9-10+ it has some real life products but c'mon, it stays on the farm most of the time, i love how this and shows like Regular Show and Total Drama are iffy but kids can still watch, gets little ones outta their bubble, some claim My Little Pony has that quirk, but I have no idea what the MLP thing is all about, anyway the cartoon violence is harmless but there is a fair amount of sexual innuendo and milgly naughty words so i put 1/5 or 2/5 on sex it may be iffy for very young kids
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Kid, 11 years old June 24, 2010
age 11+
although i like this show,but i don't like the messages in this show,this show is like fairly odd parents.But the difference is in FOP,there is many and random messages,not like this,and this show is like spongebob squarepants,the main characters are childish adults,check out otis,abby,freddy,peep,peck,pig,and other,they're so childish.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns


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